Video gaming has been, up until now, only a limited driver of the full functionality presented by smartphones. True, some games like the phenomenon Angry Birds have become cult sensations, but most games are mostly gimmicks enjoyed for a few hours. While the novelty of gaming on a smartphone soon wears off, Sony Ericsson’s new PlayStation Xperia PLAY phone gives gamers an exponentially better gaming experience.
For a younger audience not addicted to email or tweeting, much of the added cost of a smartphone was a waste of money, as a traditional PSP or Nintendo DS served the purpose much better, without a contract. But now that kids are sporting more cell phones, texting an incredible amount of times per day, and showing a reliance on phones that far outpaces their elders, Sony Ericsson decided to merge the two concepts and attract the market for serious gamers.
Utilizing Android, the Xperia PLAY phone promises a solid user experience when it comes out in March. With familiar games like The Sims and SpinterCell, it has history on its side, and Sony Ericsson is no lightweight, this phone could explode in popularity by satisfying a profitable niche.
Its significance on the forefront of digital out of home convergence is that it is first a gaming device that has phone features, and will most likely be marketed as such. But that doesn’t mean that Android will sit quietly as only a background OS, it has its own hooks too, just now another carrot to dangle in front of Apple’s iPhone users.
Tony Hymes is the Editor of the Digital Out Of Home industry website DOOH.com. He produces introductory videos of the companies working across the space from digital signage hardware providers to content companies, DOOH networks, consultants, and software groups. Tony Hymes writes extensively about the strategies behind DOOH advertising, digital signage networks and deployments, and customer engagement trends.